Ono Pharma Foundation
Ono Pharma Foundation

Ono Pharma Foundation will be considering research proposals that exhibit the potential to transform human health. Applications comprising laboratory investigation will be considered.


Applicants must meet the following requirements. LOIs and final Proposals from applicants not meeting the requirements listed below will not be considered.

PIs applying must be working at one of the nominating institutions. Nominating institutions might be replaced or added to in subsequent years.
The PI must have a MD and/or a PhD degree.
The PI must be a young and/or mid-career scientist (15 years or below of experience from starting independent academic position).
The PI may not already be engaged in other sponsored research with Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and/or grant program with Ono Pharma Foundation.
The PI may not apply for funding to amplify current work. However, PIs may research a new idea based on a prior finding of the PI.

As a US private foundation, Ono Pharma Foundation grants to Canadian institutions are conditioned on an equivalency determination by the Foundation. This may require additional documentation and information from the institution outside of the application process.


Applications will be assessed and awards will be made based upon the following criteria:

Scientific Merit


Will be evaluated based on its scientific merit of the research proposal.

Relevant to our Mission


The application will be evaluated based on its relevance to Ono Pharma Foundation's mission: significance, innovation and approach.

Technical Consideration


Proposals will be judged on its consideration and understanding of the technology required for completion



Principle Investigators will need to prove their relevant experience and qualifications.

Research Environment


Evidence will need to be provided of a suitable environment to conduct study.


There are two steps to the application process. Learn more about the RULES.

  1. Letter of Interest ("LOI") must be submitted by all nominated, interested, and eligible PIs.
  2. A full Proposal must be submitted by invited PIs.

The timetable for both steps of the Application Process is outlined below in detail.

November 22, 2019

Funding Opportunity Program Announcement for 2020 Awards

Responsible Party: Ono Pharma Foundation

November 22, 2019

LOI submission open

Responsible Party: Ono Pharma Foundation

February 20, 2020, 5pm ET *

LOI submission due date

Responsible Party: PI/ Institution

April 23, 2020

Request for Proposal (“RFP”) sent out

Responsible Party: Ono Pharma Foundation

May 14, 2020, 5pm ET *

Proposal due date

Responsible Party: PI

July 8, 2020

Announcement of the Awards

Responsible Party: Ono Pharma Foundation

August - October, 2020

Project Start

Responsible Party: PI

Responsible Party:

*Addenda, supplemental materials, changes, or updates will not be accepted after the deadline for submitting either the LOI or the Proposal.

**As a US private foundation, Ono Pharma Foundation grants to Canadian institutions are conditioned on an equivalency determination by the Foundation. This may require additional documentation and information from the institution outside of the application process.

Brief reports will be required every six months after the granting of the Award. These reports will be a means for assuring that the research follows the approved Proposal in content and timeframe. A final study report will be due two months after Project completion.

Selection Committee: Review of LOIs, final Proposals, and selection of Awardees will be carried out by a Scientific Advisory Board (“SAB”) made up of experts from the previously identified science fields but external to Ono and the Ono Pharma Foundation.

  • Note: All submitted material will be kept strictly confidential. The selected final Proposals will be attached to the Award document and to an agreement with the Nominating Institution.
  • A preliminary review of submissions will be carried out by the Ono Pharma Foundation to ensure proposals fall within the scope of research areas and that there are no obvious concerns with the proposed research. If concerns are identified, the Proposal may not be accepted prior to evaluation by the SAB.
  • Note: Members of the SAB are not eligible to apply for an Award. Serving as a mentor, however, to a PI/ Applicant is permitted/encouraged.


April 21, 2020

2020 Annual Symposium Canceled

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, 2020 annual symposium on June 25th was canceled. Please save the date for the next annual symposium on June 28th, 2021!

Location: San Francisco, tentative

July 15, 2019

The 2019 awardees


  • Aimee Edinger, PhD, University of California – Irvine
    • Overcoming the antisense oligonucleotide delivery barrier by targeting intracellular trafficking
  • Polly Fordyce, PhD, Stanford University
    • Leveraging high-throughput microfluidic enzyme kinetics to identify sites for allosteric manipulation
  • Brian Liau, PhD, Harvard University
    • Interrogating the Molecular Drivers of Chemically-Induced Protein Dimerization
  • Eric Minikel, PD and Sonia Vallabh, PhD, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
    • Cell type distribution of oligonucleotide therapies in the brain
  • Robert Spitale, PhD, University of California-Irvine
    • Expanding our understanding of PET imaging with novel probes

May 14, 2019

2019 Annual Symposium

Ono Pharma Foundation organizes an annual symposium where research scientists are given the opportunity to present their research findings and encourage scientific exchanges to accelerate advancements in the field and promote open scientific dialogue.

Date: July 1st, 2019

Location: Intercontinental Boston
510 Atlantic Avenue : Boston, Massachusetts, 02210, United States

Symposium Program & Registration

Registration Due: June 21st. Please let us know if you are interested in joining the symposium. 

July 31, 2018

The 2018 awardees


  • Michelle Arkin, PhD, University of California – San Francisco
    • Stabilizing 14-3-3 Protein-protein interactions with small molecules
  • William Mobley, MD, PhD, University of California – San Diego
    • Selective Neuronal Delivery of ASOs Targeting APP
  • Matthew Simon, PhD, Yale University
    • Transcriptome-wide discovery of small molecule binding sites in RNA
  • Jack Taunton, PhD, University of California – San Francisco
    • Chemoproteomic technology for the direct identification of druggable protein nucleophiles
  • Christina Woo, PhD, Harvard University
    • Discovery of novel small molecule-protein interactions

May 17, 2018

2018 Annual Symposium

Date: July 9th, 2018

Location: Menlo Park, CA 94025

For more information and registration, please visit our symposium website.

November 8, 2017

The 2017 awardees


  • Lingyin Li, PhD, Stanford University
    • Chemical biology of anti-cancer innate immunity
  • David Liu, PhD, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
    • Expanding the scope of base editing
  • Angela Koehler, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Chemical probes for transcription
  • Bridget Wagner, PhD, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
    • Development of predictive signatures of drug toxicity and side effects using cell-based profiling
  • Jonathan Watts, PhD, University of Massachusetts -Medical School
    • Development of next-generation antisense oligonucleotides for potent gene silencing in the lung

October 1, 2017

OTS meeting

Brief introduction about the Ono Pharma Foundation was made in the 2017 OTS meeting in Bordeaux, France in September 2017.